New Twitter Species Discovered

Followers of my blog will be only too aware of my Twitter obsession. I have devoted posts to how my fellow authors use Twitter to market their books, Twitter annoyances, in addition to several posts about the various species that inhabit the Twittersphere.

Several weeks ago a Twitter friend mentioned to me that random Tweets she was sending, which were utterly irrelevant to anyone but the intended recipient, were being RTd by others.

Without further ado I collected my specimen net, donned my Victorian explorer’s hat, and headed off into the darkest depths of the Twittersphere, to observe one of these peculiar Twitter specimens in their natural habitat. I had travelled but a short distance when I heard Emma reply to a Tweet from Chris with, ‘See you Monday Chris’.


No sooner had the Tweet been sent than it was seized and randomly RTd to twenty thousand Followers by another Twitter account, not named Chris. Since that occurrence I have been observing similar Tweeting antics on a nearly daily basis. The Tweets are of the:

‘Thank you for the RT Patricia’ – ‘How was your weekend Emilio.’ – ‘Okay see you then.’ And ‘She’s fine thanks for asking’ variety.

This new locust like Twitter species could soon reach plague proportions, devouring Tweets as they go, leaving a barren Twittersphere in their wake. I took to ruminating as to the logic behind this peculiar Tweeting habit, but was unable to comprehend a rational reason for it. It was at this juncture that I remembered a quote by author and cultural icon, William S. Burroughs.

‘Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative.’

Burroughs possessed remarkable rationality and intuitiveness when it came to analysing situations, other than on the occasion when he accidentally shot his wife Joan Vollmer dead, whilst trying to shoot a water tumbler balanced on her head.  But everyone is allowed the occassional off day.


Then I remembered another Burroughs quote, which also seemed appropriate in my perplexed state. Burroughs once famously said:

‘Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.’

Well I have been relaxing, but my mind is no closer to answering the perplexing question regarding the habits of this newly discovered Twitter species. And so I am left with no alternative but to return full circle to his first quote. Anyway I have named the new species temere sequitor, Random Repeater in English.

This is my review of Queer by William S. Burroughs.

Click here to read Adam’s review of The Soft Machine by the same author.



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  • I think it’s mostly people who have auto RT accounts that set them up to RT anything by certain people. It’s great if you want them to RT your promotional tweets but can be a bit irritating if you’re just having a chat with a friend. 🙂

    • That would explain it then. It is both odd and detrimental to their Twitter reputations if they are auto RTing replies. Thank you for the comment Diane. Have a good weekend.

  • Really liked Junky, but couldn’t finish The Naked Lunch. I didn’t understand the book, it was non-linear and weird. Will add Queer to my to-read list.

    • Junky is a great book. I read it before I started writing reviews hence why it is not in the review section. There’s a copy of The Naked Lunch on my bookshelf, but I am yet to read it.

  • Might give The Naked Lunch another go if i have time. Just been reading some of your Bukowski reviews. They are real concise and well written. If I wasn’t so short of money this month I’d be heading straight to Amazon to buy a few.

  • I do have this new species in my garden and I’m trying to study it rather than scaring it away. I’m puzzled, it looks like a bird, walks like a bird but it sure doesn’t tweet like one.

    • These bird like intruders sound like the bird equivalent of a grey squirrel. A potential threat to our native species. It might be time to get the air rifle out David, or to release a Peregrine Falcon. I hear there are quite a few of them in Wales.

  • I don’t have an answer, but have had it happen to me. I figure there is a Bot somewhere which will do this for Twitter folk. for a fee. The fallibility of the Bot performance is the disassociated randomness which makes carbon units rejoice.

  • My dear Mr. Portman, you’re a very fine writer, and I’ve enjoyed reading your literature these past few days, ever since you made it onto my radar. I don’t know how you found my website, but I’m glad you did.

    I have a complicated relationship with William Burroughs, and since you reference him here, it strikes me that it’s as good a time as any to unburden myself. Burroughs is almost universally regarded as the most intelligent of the Beatnik writers, and I in many ways completely agree with that assessment. When he’s on, he’s most articulate. But he’s just such a fucking weirdie.

    • I really liked Junky and Queer. Burroughs was certainly one of a kind. Look forward to checking out your blog again soon. I appreciated some of the death row inmates’ humour. Thank you for checking out my literature.

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